Apr 24, 2008

making friends

My friend docrpm came out for work last week and I was lucky enough to spend a few days with him. I always have a great time in his company. I was relating his stay to a friend of mine and recounted how we met and it made me think about two interesting things.

We met at a Stanford meet and greet where they try to sell you on attending their grad school. Most of the people there were who you'd expect. A lot of nerdy socially inept people. I remember docrpm stuck out for some reason. He didn't seem so nerdy or socially inept and he was a little more edgy looking. So we got to talking. We had a lot in common. We even had tickets to the same music show albeit in different cities - Peter Murphy with Nine Inch Nails opening.

This brings me to my first point. While we hit it off we didn't know what school we'd end up going to. And we never exchanged contact info. And why was this? I'm sure it's because we didn't have cell phones, blogs, instant message IDs, and email addresses back then. This was 1990. Exchanging contact info now is so simple. This got me thinking about how did any social activity really get set up back then. I don't recall carrying around a black book of home landline phone numbers but clearly I must have. It's amazing how communications are so easy now and seem so obvious and ubiquitous that I've completely forgotten how I hooked up with friends before they existed.

As a result of this, when he attended Berkeley and I attended Stanford, we had no idea we were even in the same state. This brings me to my second point which is that we did end up running in to each other. But it wasn't at Berkeley and it wasn't at Stanford. My memory is a little hazy but I believe it was in the Haight Ashbury district in downtown San Fran. I was walking down the sidewalk with some friends and he was (he can correct me if I'm wrong) in a bar having a drink and for the two seconds that I was in view walking past that bar, he also happened to be looking out the front. And I guess at that point we did exchange phone numbers.

Because I value Doc's friendship so much, and this value has grown over the years, I'm struck now more than ever by how friggin unlikely it is we ever hooked up again. If he or I had chosen a different part of town or not gone out that night or I had crossed to the other side of the road at the previous light because I just missed the walk signal or he been ordering a drink or talking to his friends when we passed by, then we never would have become friends. I'm sure the odds are a million to one over the course of the 4.5 years I was at Stanford that we would have met this way. This is one of the many reason I consider myself a very lucky guy.

1 comment:

docrpm said...

The bar in question was Toronado, and I'm pretty sure it was New Year's or some other holiday. The odds are absolutely astronomically against us having ever connected again, but we did.

Every time we spend time together, I consider myself extremely lucky. Even though we have such a strong connection, the years can sometimes pull people apart. It happened to us twice, but I know it will never happen again.